Reduction and levels of explanation in connectionism

In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on cognitive science: theories, experiments, and foundations. Ablex. pp. 347-368 (1995)
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Recent work in the methodology of connectionist explanation has I'ocrrsccl on the notion of levels of explanation. Specific issucs in conncctionisrn hcrc intersect with rvider areas of debate in the philosophy of psychology and thc philosophy of science generally. The issues I raise in this chapter, then, are not unique to cognitive science; but they arise in new and important contexts when connectionism is taken seriously as a model of cognition. The general questions are the relation between levels and the status of levels which have no obvious relation to others. In speaking of levels, what is the connection, if there is one, between explanation and ontology? Which, if any, conccpt of reduction is applicable to connectionist systems? What kind of legitinrtcy can the constructs of common sense psychology, or of that vclsion ol intentional realism represented by classical symbol-systems n I, hirvc irr ir full-scale connectionist theory of mind?
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